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R&D Goes Global

Hidden in corporate research budgets is a shift of R&D work to low-cost countries, particularly China and India

8 min read

Back in the 1980s, politicians and pundits mourned the migration of blue-collar jobs from advanced industrial countries to emerging economies. More recently, they fretted over the flow of low-level white-collar jobs. In both cases, their one piece of advice for the advanced countries was to do what they did best: innovation.

Think again. Now even innovation appears to be fleeing to low-cost countries, as they seemingly leapfrog the traditional stages of development. Clearly, we are at the beginning of a fundamental shift in where R&D is performed.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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